Rep. Steve Scalise whips rivals, becomes House Majority Whip on first ballot

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Rep. Steve Scalise speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in 2011. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Rep. Steve Scalise speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in 2011.


U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, became the third most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives this afternoon when he was elected Majority Whip in the first round of balloting.

Scalise defeated the current chief deputy whip, Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois, as well as Rep. Marlin A. Stutzman of Indiana for the post. He succeeds Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who ascended to Majority Leader after the reigning majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, was defeated last week in a primary and resigned the position.

Scalise has represented Louisiana's 1st Congressional District since 2008, and chairs the powerful Republican Study Committee.

So: what does a whip do? The Washington Post has a good primer on the duties, along with job descriptions for the two senior positions, Speaker of the House (currently held by Rep. John Boehner) and Majority Leader. For more on Scalise's sudden turn of good fortune, read Clancy DuBos' column this week, "Steve Scalise and the Butterfly Effect."

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